Signing to drive for Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing on a full-time basis next year does not mean Sebastien Bourdais has given up hope on remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series with A.J. Foyt Racing. In fact, Bourdais agreed to the IMSA deal months ago with the awareness and blessing of both teams.
Talks continue with team president Larry Foyt, who is working on firming up its primary sponsorship for the No. 14 Chevy Bourdais drove last season. And if there’s a positive outcome for Bourdais in both series, the winner of 37 IndyCar races and 34 poles, the GTE Pro class at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the most recent 12 Hours of Sebring will pull double duty in 2022 with a lot of sports car and open-wheel miles to complete.
For now, though, IMSA’s 10-race calendar starting in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and ending in October at Petit Le Mans is the only confirmed activity for the 42-year-old.
“The opportunity with Cadillac and Chip was too good to pass on, and it’s really an exciting thing with the DPi and then the new Cadillac LMDh that’s coming, a lot of development work and getting ready for the future there, but it’s two different things, altogether,” Bourdais told RACER.
“My IndyCar future is not pending on my participation with Cadillac, and nothing has changed with Larry, who is waiting to see what the sponsorship plan will be next year. He has said, and I have said many times, that there’s a desire to continue working together to keep building on what we did last season, so that is the only uncertainty for me right now.”
There are five date conflicts between IMSA and IndyCar in 2022, with Sebring/Texas in March, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca/Barber and Mid-Ohio/Indy Grand Prix in May, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park/Mid-Ohio in June, and Road America/Nashville in August.
If Bourdais is able to return, he’d be available for 12 of the 17 IndyCar rounds. After finishing on a high by driving from 22nd to eighth at the IndyCar season finale in Long Beach, there’s a strong desire to keep the momentum going with the No. 14 Chevy.
“I still very much want to do IndyCar and continue to help A.J. Foyt Racing for one more year, and then that will be that,” he said. “Everybody knows that I can’t do a full season with what’s come with the sports car program. There’s security with Chip and Cadillac that is real with the IMSA program, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be racing in IndyCar next year.
“Larry had an option on me for this coming season and was not in a position that he was going to be able to commit to it at the time I needed to commit to IMSA. The only reason I wouldn’t be racing in IndyCar is if Larry decides to go some different route.”
With his dance card set in IMSA, Bourdais says he’s happy to wait on the Foyt team and has stayed true to his commitment to the program.
“I told Larry right away this doesn’t mean I can’t race and at that point I’ll understand either way whether they use me or not,” he added. “But I do think I can help them move forwards, and I’ve put myself at the disposal of the team, because that was my commitment to Larry going in. I’m a man of my word, and I’m sticking to that. I didn’t go shopping around to find other IndyCar options because I said I would put my energy on this team and that’s what I will do.”